Lying in Islam

Umdat Al Salik, "Reliance of the traveller", pages 744, 745

"Permissible Lying

r8.2 The prophet (Allah bless him and give him Peace) said,

"He who settles disagreements between people to bring about good or says something commendable is not a liar."

This much is related by both Bukhari and Muslim, with Muslim's version recording that Um Kulthum added,

"I did not hear him permit untruth in anything people say, except for three things: war, settling disagreements, and a man talking with his wife or she with him (A: in smoothing over differences)"

This is an explicit statement that lying is sometimges permissible for a given interest, scholars having established criteria defining what types of it are lawful. The best analysis of it I have seen is by Imam Abu Hamid Ghazali, who says:

"Speaking is a means to achieving objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible (....) and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory...""

Since unbelievers are not esteemed highly and protecting or respecting unbelievers is not a prime goal of Islam, you will find innumerable reasons or "goals" for lying to them in order to attain a higher goal, i.e. the dominance of Islam.

Yes, this sounds harsh. But, it's standard orthodox sunni doctrin. Please note that taqiyya is only one form of permissible lying in Islam. Not every permissible lie is taqiyyah.

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